Wednesday, July 11, 2018


The Purple Stain

Day after day I inflict upon myself

the grievous penance of not seeing you, so when finally

my eyes behold you they are flooded with you essence,

as if drowning in an ocean of purple,

of music, of deep passion.

Monday passes, Tuesday, Wednesday . . . I suffer from

the eclipse of my sun, but as I mourn

the desire to see you rises up like

a prophecy, it opens like a slowly parted

veil, it grows pure, like honey, precious

like the heart of a stone,

it is honed like the key

to the cell of love in a ruined monastery.

You cannot know the exquisite bliss

I find in fleeing from you, the furtive gratification

of furtively adoring you, of paying court to you

beyond the shadow, of once a week removing

the blindfold and exposing my eyes,

for a deceptive moment,

to the purple stain of your fascination.

In the forest of love, I am a stealthy hunter.

I stalk you through dense, dormant foliage

as I would hunt a brilliant bird, and from these forays

among the thickets, I bring back to my isolation

the most brilliant of all plumage:

the purple plumage of your fascination.


Ramon Lopez Velarde
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
U Texas Press